The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) trailing to place urban events centerstage to lure a younger audience saw street dance battles officially added to the medal events program at the 2024 Paris Games.
Paris 2024 will see 16 b-boys and 16 b-girls (the term used for competitive breakers, or breakdancers) compete in one vs one battles, and it is hoped the sport’s inclusion will attract a young audience to the Olympics
Alongside the additions, the IOC made subtractions: The slate of 329 medal events in Paris is 10 fewer than in Tokyo, including four lost from weightlifting, and the athlete quota in 2024 of 10,500 is around 600 less than next year.
Breakdancing will be called breaking at the Olympics, as it was in the 1970s by hip-hop pioneers in the United States.
It was proposed by Paris organizers almost two years ago after positive trials at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires. Breaking passed further stages of approval in 2019 from separate decisions by the IOC board and full membership.
“Today is a historic occasion, not only for b-boys and b-girls but for all dancers around the world,” said Shawn Tay, president of the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF).
“The WDSF could not be prouder to have breaking included at Paris 2024, and we thank everyone who helped make it possible: the executive board of the IOC, the Paris 2024 organizers, the WDSF staff and, most importantly, the breaking community itself.
“It was a true team effort to get to this moment and we will redouble our efforts in the lead-up to the Olympic Games to make sure the breaking competition at Paris 2024 will be unforgettable.”
The IOC said “limiting the overall number of events is a key element in curbing the growth of the Olympic program as well as additional costs.”
In other IOC business, Bach confirmed the more than 11,000 competitors at the Tokyo Olympics should not stay in the official athlete village for the entire games, to help limit the risk of COVID-19 infections.
Teams will be advised of a policy that athletes should arrive at their accommodation no more than five days before the start of their competition and have left two days after it ends.
Measures that were introduced ahead of the Tokyo Olympics allow host cities to put forward new sports to be included in their Games.
Tokyo 2020 is scheduled to begin on July 23, 2021 with IOC president Thomas Bach saying last month he is “very, very confident” that spectators will be able to attend.